“Deliver me in Your righteousness, and cause me to escape; Incline Your ear to me, and save me. Be my strong refuge, To which I may resort continually; You have given the commandment to save me, For You are my rock and my fortress. Deliver me, O my God, out of the hand of the wicked, Out of the hand of the unrighteous and cruel man.” (Psalm 71:2-4)
I came across this picture today. Well not this exact image. I altered it and reposted the new photo here. The original was just a black and white photograph of the president with the added Bible passage down the right side. I later superimposed my image over Mr. Obama‘s.
I had to.
Admittedly, when I first saw (and read) the unaltered picture, my first thought was, “Yeah! That shoe fits him very well!” I easily surmised that he was in fact guilty. But then the Holy Spirit chimed in. “Dave,” the Father said inaudibly, “That shoe fits you very well, too.”
I didn’t want to hear that, but the bell had been rung and I could not un-ring it. Because I had reacted the way I had, I felt compelled by the same Spirit to slap my ugly mug over the president’s kisser. The Lord knows that this feat was in no way an endorsement of the president’s practices and policies, but rather an indictment against my own. Arguably, the president’s actions are more grievous and far-reaching, but that does not negate the abominable things I have pulled off through the years.
Who is the Cruel Man?
As God would have it, Psalm 71 was part of my Bible reading this morning. With the above image still fresh in my mind I read, “Deliver me, O my God, out of the hand of the wicked, Out of the hand of the unrighteous and cruel man,” and I quickly deduced that I was the cruel man. I say that not to discount the reality of satan, or his minions, or the enemies of Christ Jesus, for they also fit the bill, but rather to recognize that I am my own worst enemy. For this reason I believe the Apostle Paul penned these words:
For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. Romans 7:18-19
It’s for this cause we are to reckon our own flesh dead.
Defending the President
Please hear me on this: I am not defending the president. However, neither am I saying that we cannot judge the reprehensible words or actions of another person. That’s an unbiblical doctrine as well. If I could proffer a quick tutorial on judging others, there are three kinds: Judging unto condemnation, judging to identify, and judging to restore. The first is not allowed, but the last two are. If you don’t agree, please leave your (kind) comments below and we’ll discuss.
What I am merely pointing out is that although sin is rampant, when we recognize transgression in others, we better be prepared for the Holy Spirit to point out ours. Having said that (and this is so very important), by the finished work of Jesus upon the cross, Christians are forgiven; our sins have been washed away by the blood of the Messiah and they are remembered no more. When the Holy Spirit convicted me this morning (in regard to the president’s picture), it was not over my former sin, but because I was waxing condemningly, as there was (for a brief moment) not a restorative thought in my heart or soul. I was quickly reminded that my offensives of yore were just as much an abomination to the Father, and Jesus restored and redeemed me.
So can we judge the actions (or inaction) of the president, or anyone else for that matter? Yes, if it is for the purpose to identify sin and then (hopefully) to restore the transgressor through prayer and obedience to the directives of God’s Holy Spirit. At the same time, merely turning the spotlight on another sinner is grossly insufficient and borders on condemnation. Don’t be afraid to flick on that light, but neither be afraid to step out from behind it to help a soul to his feet. This is the will of God.
Please continue to pray for the president and for our nation.
“If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14)
These articles may or may not be related:
- What does it mean to blaspheme the Holy Spirit? (jmdansville.wordpress.com)
- Why study the Bible? (mycrosspointechurch.wordpress.com)
- Get Over It (compassiondave.wordpress.com)
- Conversations with Poppi: Baptism and the Spirit (afkimel.wordpress.com)
- Who Are We? (zimirioffering.wordpress.com)
- Attributes of the Holy Spirit – Part 1 (thevinevigil.wordpress.com)
- God Gives (jamespoitras.com)
- Who is the Holy Spirit? Part 3 Living a Victorious Life! (fggam.org)
- The Holy Spirit as a person (jmdansville.wordpress.com)
- What is Integrity (ariseprayerministries.wordpress.com)
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